The Clothesline Project, a violence awareness and prevention initiative, will be featured in the Utah Valley State College Student Center Grande Ballroom today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A special presentation by Bikers Against Child Abuse will be held in conjunction with the display Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the UVSC Courtyard, or the Grande Ballroom in case of storms.
The Clothesline Project is a nationwide movement aimed at raising awareness of and combating all types of violence in the community. It began in 1990 in Hyannis, Mass., with a group of 30 women contributing shirts depicting their thoughts and emotions regarding their experiences as victims of violence. The shirts were hung on a clothesline, symbolic of society's dirty laundry.
The emotions expressed on the shirts are intense and often disturbing; however, many are also full of hope and healing. Each shirt represents one survivor's feelings at a particular time. Each different color of shirt represents a different form of abuse that the survivor went through.
"The event is an eye-opening experience for students as they realize the gravity of domestic abuse, sexual assault and incest in our community," said Sarah Parson, director of the Equity in Education Center at UVSC, which is sponsoring the event along with Turning Point's Women's Resource Center.
"Many students note that they had no idea that violence was as prevalent as it is, while others report that visiting the Clothesline had a great impact on them, helping them come to terms with their own experiences or those of others around them," Parson said.
Today there are Clothesline Projects in 41 states and five countries. Survivors of violence, or those who wish to make a shirt in honor of someone else, are encouraged to make shirts to add to the display. A private area will be provided to make shirts. Shirts and materials for decorating them will be provided free of charge.
For more information or volunteer opportunities at the Clothesline Project, please contact Jennie Briggs at 801-863-6406 or [email protected].
The UVSC Clothesline Project was also available to view online at www.equitycenter.info.